New guidance report published: Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published its latest guidance report today, Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning. The report reviews the best available research to offer schools and teachers four recommendations to support parental engagement in children’s learning.

Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning

Four recommendations on working with parents to support their child’s learning

Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children’s learning, and levels of parental engagement are consistently associated with better academic outcomes. Evidence from the EEF's Teaching and Learning Toolkit suggests that effective parental engagement can lead to learning gains of +3 months over the course of a year.

Yet it can be difficult to involve all parents in ways that support children’s learning, especially if parents’ own experiences of school weren’t positive.

This latest report is designed to support primary and secondary schools to work with parents – particularly those from disadvantaged homes – to support their child’s learning.

An over-arching recommendation focuses on the importance of schools planning and monitoring parental engagement activities to get the most out of them. Other recommendations look at the best ways to communicate with parents, and strategies for supporting learning at home.

The report – which is free to download here – also includes guidance on tailoring school communications to encourage parental engagement and offering more intensive support where needed. The full evidence review underpinning the guidance will be published in early 2019.

This guidance report sits alongside the EEF’s other guidance reports – focused on literacy, maths, metacognition, effective implementation, and making best use of teaching assistants – providing the basis for an over-arching approach to evidence-informed school improvement.

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: 

We know that levels of parental engagement are consistently associated with children’s academic outcomes. We also know that a parent’s job, education and income matters less to their child’s development than what they actually do with them.

Schools and parents have a shared interest in doing the best for their children. However, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start. Some parents feel anxious about reading to their children, particularly if the struggle with their own literacy skills. Others worry that they can’t afford the same sort of books or trips out that other families can. And schools do not always know how they can work with families most effectively.

That is why we’ve produced this guidance report. It offers primary and secondary schools four clear and actionable recommendations on working with parents so that they can support their child’s learning at home. We hope it helps support an evidence-informed approach to working with parents.